Let's talk about a common pitfall: approaching your manager or the leadership team of your business, with problems but not solutions.

The "Annoying Monkey" Problem:

Imagine this: you encounter a snag in your business operations.

Frustrated, you vent to your manager, laying out the issue, but not giving any options or suggestions as to actual solutions.

I've come to think of these situations as being handed a wind-up monkey.

You know the ones I mean. One of those little wind-up monkey toys, with cymbals, clack-clack clacking.

Sure, it's cute. But it serves no real purpose. And after a while, it becomes somewhat pointless and irritating.

From an operational efficiency standpoint, this creates an unnecessary burden to the leaders within that business.

As an experienced Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Fractional COO myself, I can tell you this... I would much rather be handed solutions, rather than problems.

And learning problem-solving skills, especially in a career in business operations, is 100% one of the most crucial skills you need!

The Power of Proactive Problem-Solving:

Now, consider this alternative approach:

You present an issue to your manager or leadership team.

But this time, you come prepared with potential solutions.

You might have researched options, brainstormed approaches, or even attempted a preliminary fix.

By framing the issue with potential solutions, you transform yourself from a problem-presenter to a key-contributor in finding the best solution.

This approach fosters better communication, improves operational efficiency, and positions you more favourably within the team.

The perspective of a Fractional COO:

As a Fractional COO, I value team members who take initiative and demonstrate problem-solving skills.

Here's how this approach benefits everyone:

  • Reduced Management Burden: By presenting solutions alongside problems, you free up your manager's time to focus on strategic initiatives.
  • Improved Decision-Making: Multiple perspectives lead to better-rounded solutions.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: Proactive problem-solving fosters a culture of teamwork and shared ownership.
  • Increased Efficiency: Issues are resolved faster, leading to improved operational efficiency.

By adopting a proactive problem-solving approach, you not only alleviate your manager's burden but also demonstrate your own value as a team player.

Connect with me over on LinkedIn at Dan Holloway and share your experiences with problem-solving at work.

Let's talk problem-solving 😉

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